Like some sick obsession; I had been checking river flows and fish counts almost daily since my last attempt at salmon fishing two weeks ago. I was pretty encouraged when I noticed that the flows were coming down and the fish counts were coming up.
Two days before my trip (and after a warm spell) I noticed that the flows were starting to come up again. However the fish counts by the 14th were about six times what they had been. I got all of my equipment packed into the car the night before the trip. As I am still waiting for my spey rod to arrive, I only loaded my single hand 9wt into my gear bag.
My day started off at around 0300 when my alarm woke me. I hit snooze a few too many times and ended up getting out of bed by 0327. I got up got dressed and texted Chris to let him know that I was running a little behind schedule.
I met up with Chris, he loaded his gear into my car and we were on our way. The drive went by pretty quickly; as we talked about various fly fishing subjects to pass the time. Once we were getting closer to our destination the excitement of fishing for salmon began to grow.
When we drove by the ďgauntletĒ there were a lot of vehicles parked by the side of the road. We noticed an individual crossing the street; he had several Chinook that he was carrying. Chris said ďat least we know they are in the system nowĒ.
When we got to the first spot that we wanted to fish there were several people fishing that spot. We got back in the car and headed down river to the next spot. Once we got to the next spot we got out, got geared up and began to fish.
Well after about an hour or so of casting practice we decided to head back up river. When we got back to the original spot that we wanted to fish some of the people had cleared out. The boat was still there though. We got out made our way to the river and began to fish.
After a little while I hooked my first fish of the day. Actually it was only a smolt; I removed the hook and sent it on its way. A few casts later I managed to hook a whitefish, I tell you it was a fierce battle on my 9wt
We continued to fish the run when on one cast it happened. I felt a take and set the hook. This fish was a lot different feeling than the previous little guys. Unfortunately I only managed to experience it for a short time. Because as I started to fight the fish, he decided that he didnít want to play anymore and popped off.
After a little while we decided to go even further up river where the water was quite a bit smaller.
This is the area we probably should have started the day on. At first when we got there was not much of anything going on other than casting practice. Even the spin guys were not having any luck. As it was getting closer to evening the salmon started to give some nice aerial displays as they made their way up river.
I never managed to hook another fish the rest of the day. It seemed pretty slow so I found Chris and said letís get out of here and try another day. I went back to the car and was getting my gear packed back up when one of the spin guys hooked one. Chris ran down to check it out, the guy ended up getting tangled up on some underwater brush. Chris managed to get the fish but it slipped out of his hands and swam away.
Despite not landing any fish on this trip I canít wait to get back and try it again. I had an absolutely fun day; the only think that would have made it better would have been landing an adult Chinook. I am not really sure why am drawn to this type of fishing as I have not landed one yet. Part of it is the fact that it isnít easy to catch them (unlike a brown on the O). Part of it is just getting out and having fun with friends. Also I want to feel what it is like to really fight one. Well maybe my third time (in a couple of weeks) fishing for them will be a charm.
Ps: Chrisís did not: Slam his rod in the car door, step on it, drive over it, snag it, etc. etc. etc. Good thing he brought a spare rod though.